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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Reporter arrested, accused of threats

Junior hockey player boyfriend alleged target

Posted: 01/23/2014 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- A freelance reporter from British Columbia has been arrested in the United States over allegations she threatened to kill her boyfriend, who is a junior hockey player for the Tri-City Americans.

Court documents indicate 25-year-old Kelowna resident Tieja MacLaughlin, who police said had been dating Tri-City Americans player Jackson Playfair, was arrested in Kennewick, Wash.

None of the allegations contained in court documents or outlined publicly by Kennewick police have been tested in court, and she has not been charged. She appeared in court Tuesday and was held without bail, according to the documents.

According to a court document outlining the reason for MacLaughlin's detention, Playfair called police early Saturday morning.

He told police he had been in a relationship with MacLaughlin since last July, but the relationship had been "rocky," the document said.

"Tieja found out the victim cheated on her and she told him over the phone that she was on her way to Kennewick," the arresting officer wrote on the document. "During that phone call, Tieja advised the victim that he would be dead by the end of the night."

The document said MacLaughlin denied making the threats after her arrest on Saturday.

MacLaughlin was assigned a public defender. Eric Hsu, the public defence manager for the Benton and Franklin Counties Office of Public Defense, confirmed MacLaughlin was being held in custody but otherwise declined to comment.

The victim in the document is identified only as a player for the Tri-City Americans, but Kennewick police spokesman Mike Blatman confirmed Playfair's identity.

Playfair is originally from Fort St. James, B.C., according to biographical information on the team's website. He is the son of Phoenix Coyotes associate coach Jim Playfair, and his brother, Austyn Playfair, was signed to the Americans last year.

A spokesperson for the Tri-City Americans said neither Playfair nor the team would be commenting.

MacLaughlin is a freelance reporter for Castanet, an online news website based in Kelowna.


-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 23, 2014 D4

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